Batelco to introduce new broadband packages

14 Jun, '09

from Twitter with no confirmation yet on Batelco’s pages:

Blocked websites in Bahrain

#WebsiteURLAdmin OrderAlternate URL
1منتديات شهداء البحرين
Bahrain Martyrs Forums
shaheedbh.com2005/43shaheed-bh.com
2منتديات المالكية
Malkiya Forums
malkiya.net2005/43
3منتدى شبكة الدراز
Alduraz Network Forums
alduraz.net2005/43
4منتديات البحرين
Bahrain Forums
montadayat.org2005/43
5تقرير البندر
Albandar Report (Bandargate)
members.tripod. com/bahrain32005/43
6ملتقى البحرين
Bahrain Online
bahrainonline.org2006/58http://bahrain4u. com and http://208.100.39.36/ index.php Alternates BLOCKED by Admin Order# 2008/197 on 5 Aug 08
7مركز البحرين لحقوق الإنسان
Bahrain Centre for Human Rights
bahrainrights.org2006/60alternate bchr.net is also blocked
8منتديات باب البحرين
Bab Albahrain Forums
bab-albahrain.net2006/62
9الشبكة العربية لمعلومات حقوق الإنسان
Arab Network for Human Rights
hrinfo.net2006/62hrinfo.org
10منتديات قرية شهركان الثقافية
Shahrakkan Village Cultural Forums
shahrakkan.org2006/62
11منتدى فريج الحياك
Alhayak Neighbourhood Forum
alhiyak.net2006/62
12بنت جبيل
Bint Jbeil
bintjbeil.org2006/62
13منتديات الثقلين
Althuqlain Forums
althaqlain.com2006/62
14منتديات الجفير
Juffair Forums
juffair.com2007/03
15أسكان عالي
A’ali Housing Forums
eskanaali.com2007/03
16موقع كرزكان
Karzakan Forums
karzakan.com2007/03
17منتديات هيئة علي الأصغر
Ali Alasghar Forums
alialasghar.net2007/03
18شبكة النور الإسلامية
Alnoor Islamic Forums
alnoornet.net2007/03
19البندر )جديد(
Albandar (bandargate - new)
bander.allfreehost.net2007/09
20يا حسين
Ya Hussain Forums
yahosein.com2007/13
21حق
Haaq Political Movement
haaq.org2007/47
22منتديات عراد نت
Arad Forums
3radnet.com2008/01
23شاطئ الإيثار
Ethar Coast Forums
nasr-b.com2008/01
24منتديات المحفوظ
Almahfood Forums
almahfood.com2008/01
25منتديات كرباباديات
Karbabad Forums
karbabadiat.net2008/08
26صحيفة أوال الالكترونية
Awaal Electronic Journal
awaal.net2008/16http://www.awaal.net. nyud.net:8090/
27منتديات الصرح الوطني
The National Edifice Forums
wattani.net2008/193block order on 30/8/08 http://wattaninet.net/forum blocked under Admin Order# 2008/197 on 5 Aug 08
28حركة أحرار البحرين الإسلامية
Bahrain Freedom Movement
vob.org
29الصحيفة
Alsaheefa
alsaheefa.net
30الحوار المتمدن
Modern Descussion
rezgar.comahewar.org
31أحرار البحرين
Ahrar Bahrain
ahraralbahrain.comabandoned
32البوابة
Albawaba
albawaba.com
33الناقد
The Critic
annaqed.com
34Free Coptsfreecopts.net
35Arab Churcharabchurch.com
36Kurd Timeskurdtimes.com
37وعد
NDAS
aldemokrati.org
38The Lands of Sandsbenkerishan.blogspot.comalternate benkerishan.com also blocked
Last updated 30 July, ’08 by Mahmood Al-Yousif
Via @BoilingIce and @ahmedzainal on Twitter.

Batelco’s channel alludes to this too:

@batelco: Our existing customers will be automatically migrated to the new broadband packages with higher speeds & more usage, up to 90% lower prices!
[…]
E.g.: customers who are currently subscribed to the 2Mbps/BD60 package will be automatically upgraded to 4Mbps at a reduced price of BD50!

New ad for Batelco's latest ADSL packages to presumably be released soon.

New ad for Batelco's latest ADSL packages to presumably be released soon. source: http://twitpic.com/7dnf7

via http://twitter.com/bahraini/statuses/2168630156

via http://twitter.com/bahraini/statuses/2168630156

Filed in: EntrepreneurshipTechnology
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Comments (44)

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  1. Loki says:

    The cynic in me wants to say “wow, this would have been great news 5 years ago…”.

    So I will:

    Wow, this would have been great news 5 years ago…

  2. Redbelt says:

    This is still CRAP!
    I want 10MB for BD 30-35
    This is BS.

  3. Faris says:

    wow, that was fast. According to my router!


    Line rate – upstream: 506 Kbps
    Line rate – downstream: 4092 Kbps “

  4. Samira says:

    Mahmood, i think you’re blowing the cover by mentioning ‘via … twitter’ and mentioning the sources, I mean those are legitimate sources, which I thought you dont normally mention? They might lose their jobs because of this post!

    anyway, nice that we have better pricing in Bahrain.. sad that there are no higher speeds (i.e. 24MB ADSL like Du have and 16MB from Etisalat/STC).. thresholds are STILL there which is quite sad indeed. the idea of introducing just 1 package without thresholds (promised) is not introduced…

    The nicer or more interesting thing now is how or if MENA will compete with these prices.. I mean who would sign up for higher costs and lower thresholds from MENA?? Oh and what about the other operators? they must be having a field day today by reading these prices 🙂 Now they can get on preparing their prices/packages and launch soon..

    If only they introduced something else…………………………

    btw.. a tip about tweeting.. you can delete a tweet if you think you did it by accident or want to change it.. just click on the trash button on the right side of the tweet and done.

    • mahmood says:

      I don’t think it’s a problem mentioning sources; those were not direct or hidden messages, they were fully public. Further, the source I mentioned was at the press conference as were many others. This is going to be old news by this time tomorrow.

      • Samira says:

        Press Conference? nice 🙂 Did you feel all your questions were answered? Did you ask why was this done now and not a few years back? Was it difficult for them to launch?

        • mahmood says:

          Had I been present, I might have asked those kind of questions. I’m simply relaying interesting news.

          We’ll see what the papers say about this tomorrow, or will they do the usual cut-and-paste-prefabricated-prewritten statements.

  5. Sam says:

    I think it’s true.

    If you look at the latest press release from the TRA last week regarding a study on benchmarks they said:

    “However since the study was completed I am pleased that there are forthcoming cuts in the price of Broadband services”

  6. Samira says:

    Sam, then Batelco updated their wholesale website with new rates last week (nicely not mentioning to any operator nor was there any announcement from the TRA/Batelco) and then they get away in launching their services tomorrow! :-/

  7. Faris says:

    UPDATE :

    . A friend called the inet helpdesk, they said the update will go through next week.

    I’m guessing if your line is showing the new speed, then you are throttled to the old one till next week.

  8. Sam says:

    Samira your right. I just had a look at Batelco’s wholesale RO page and it says:

    “Notice for licensees:

    The following sections of the Reference Offer and Schedules have been updated and amended to comply with the TRA’s reference access order dated 12 July 2006 (the “Access Order”): “

    • Samira says:

      Sam, that’s an ollllldddd link, look at the date of the order 2006!! there’s supposedly a new one if such prices were just updated suddenly in their website I guess. The thing is the way the TRA played into the game and allowed them to launch without saying a single word to other operators about the new speeds and drops in prices.

      Did you notice the costs other operators have to pay to Batelco? It’s dirt cheap compared to Batelco’s retail packages. So I agree with Redbelt that prices are still way too high and need to be dropped (other operators please drop!!). Why is it Du gets away with 24MB for 74BD? or Etisalat with 16MB for 54BD? or STC with 20MB for 55BD? These are today’s retail prices too.. anyway, it’s not a major move and Bahrain simply is trying to catch up here.

      Faris, speedtest please 🙂

      • mahmood says:

        With STC’s news piece this morning that they’re looking for HQ to buy in Seef, I hope they will have something left over to provide the real competition that Batelco needs. Will they launch broadband services? I suppose they must, but if they insist on getting all traffic through KACST they can announce 100Mb for BD10 and I will still not buy!

  9. Sam says:

    According to a chap called Ghazi on the inet help desk, they plan on releasing a press statement tomorrow.

  10. Sam says:

    Samira: WHOLESALE prices below.

    So is this what other ISPs pay when they re-sell Batelco’s connections? I got this from one of the RO PDFs. Doesn’t leave allot of margin..

    Residential: (Threshold)

    256kbps: (2 GB) BD 7
    512kbps: (8 GB) BD 14.084
    640kbps (5 GB) BD 11.634
    1Mbps: (15 GB) BD 20.405
    2Mbps: (20 GB) BD 25.410
    4Mbps: (25 GB) BD 31.180
    8Mbps (40 GB) BD 46.960
    10Mbps (50 GB) BD 56.971

  11. Nasser Jawad says:

    My interest speed is 10MB, with unlimited usage, and I pay 10 GBP a month!

  12. I’ll be waiting for a response from Mena and Zain.

    • mahmood says:

      Is it just possible, even minutely, that we are seeing the results of competition happening here?

      I can’t imagine that Batelco would have responded had it not been. I mean, their choice of 10Mbps is not a coincidence, it’s that little bit higher than MENA’s highest. Batelco has proven itself time and again as an astute and shrewd adversary who’s main and only goal is to make as much money as possible in the shortest time possible. I’m fairly sure that they could have released 24Mbps at the same rate that they’re flogging the 10Mbps for, but they feel that they don’t have to, and as people and shareholders aren’t complaining, why the hell bother?

      • Samira says:

        No Mahmood, I respectfully disagree, there is no ‘competition’ yet in Bahrain, Batelco launched these packages just to fend off Mena’s threat of acquiring a good chunk of their users. Wasn’t Batelco’s new CEO (Danish isn’t he?) that they currently have 60% of the market? The remaining I assume mostly is Mena?

        Anyway, Batelco will easily play around unfortunately, you can’t dress a sheep new skin and expect it to fly do you? Consumers/investors/businesses are still the victims here when countries next to us are eons way ahead of us. mean why is it that Batelco spends 10’s miilions on a new network then find out that their copper is crap? I mean honestly this is a tiny island with even a tinier density of the population located next to each other. Anyway, you’re right Mahmood that Batelco doesn’t bother in upgrading its speeds just yet. But the ones losing here are the investors and business who wish to re-locate in this ‘business-friendly’ island. Think of it this way, you’re either stuck with the uncertainty of getting/not getting the speed you applied for, or be stuck with wireless networks which by nature does not give a stable connection.. sad state of affairs I’m afraid.. if we had to blame 1 entity, it would be the TRA, considering they are the ones who are supposed to ‘protect the consumer’ and crap in their latest campaign. They don’t have a director of consumer affairs today let alone understand what it means to ‘protect’. They are way over their heads and their PR just is a flat lie honestly. More than anything, the TRA are simply exposing themselves too much to their weak state of affairs internally.

        Anyway, here we go again! (it’s a bit of dejavu of what happened the last time Batelco changed speeds and prices).. nothing new here.

    • Samira says:

      btw Mohammed, Zain and Mena won’t respond. Either they will squeeze their margins even more (worsening the financials and B/E for WiMax, pushing it way into 15-20 years to earn a profit) or simply position themselves compared to HSDPA and not compete with ADSL. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mena or Zain might actually apply for Wholesale DSL or bitstream and finally acknowledge the fact that wired is the way to go for broadband, not wireless. Wireless is a complement in the end of the day. Like extra email storage or free voice calls. I honestly depend on Wifi networks wherever I go, and never felt I needed to connect thru HSDPA let alone wimax through my laptop. Seriously, practically every place you go there is Wifi with a good connection for browsing/email.

      anyway, don’t bet on Zain launching a counter offer anytime soon. More like let them first learn what VoIP is and how to handle billing (idiots should make calls for free between 36 and 136!!). As for Mena, come on, thresholds are so low its worthless!

      • Miranda D says:

        Zain! Handle Billing! Ha, you’re so right they need to learn how to handle billing, When I first signed up with them I got a massive bill claiming I used 40 GBs one month and that I asked for unlimited download with the subsequent charges when I signed. Now I’m locked into a contract, I refuse to pay for this 40 BD I am told I downloaded and in the meanwhile they continue to charge me my monthly subscription even though they cut me off months ago. That’s when the can bother to send me a bill to tell me. As for letting me know I’d reaching my limit 30GBs back, did I get an sms?, could I check online? Hell no.

        • Bahraini says:

          Its just ridiculous to charge people while the line is disconnected. Try complaining to the TRA regarding your issue with Zain. I’m pretty sure you are not the only one complaining. They really need to focus on their network issues instead of spending most of their money on marketing their services. At the end of the day, if customers aren’t happy with their services, people will switch; here comes the 18-month contract bit, talk about really unhappy customers.

  13. Robok says:

    You are correct, I’ve heard rumours on more than one site that states that STC (Saudi Telecom Company) is planning on deploying in Bahrain, and obviously they have a lot of funds to spend on the market here.

    So HOPEFULLY we’ll be having a decent ISP that doesn’t limit us with bandwidth when they do finish up their stuff, but the new packages are pretty rubbish if you ask me, the whole idea of adding bandwidth is incredibly annoying.

  14. Faris says:

    Samira,

    I ran a speedtest and it was showing at 2mb. I also tried some torrents and I maxed out at 219kbps . Which is actually the highest i’ve got in a long time. So yeah, the link was showing at 4mb but the connection was 2mb…

    • Faris says:

      One of the guys at the office got text from Batelco congratulating him on his upgraded ADSL service…. So it looks like they starting the roll out today…

      • mahmood says:

        I’ve just received such a message as well. The message preceding it (but a couple of days) was one informing me that I’ve reached 75% of my bandwidth, just 9 days after the billing cycle!!

        Let’s see if the new package bandwidth will last a bit longer. I’m not holding my breath though; the faster the connection the more you want to use it. And they know this.

  15. Sam says:

    I don’t think you’ll ever see true ISP competition in Bahrain until local loop unbundling becomes a reality.

    Mahmood my ISP over here in the UK has a really ingenious way of delivering fiber to the premises (FTTP). My broadband connection goes through the sewage system – quite literally!
    Instead of having to dig up earth or use existing dark fiber, they fed marine-grade fiber through the existing sewage system to reach all the homes & establishments in the area.

    • mahmood says:

      You have a sewage system?! Wow! What a novelty!

      We still have shit tankers (literally) coming once in a while (after a fight or payment) to suck the septic tanks clean – within reason – so I guess we can be creative in this country and mount wireless to get THAT signal at least to reach some hard-to-connect-to areas.

      I’ll settle for not having a sewage system if I can get reliable and cheap enough internet. I guess we Bahrainis are natural losers in both.

  16. mahmood says:

    Told me they upgraded me, this tells me they haven’t yet:

  17. Faris says:

    I checked my connection today. I managed to hit 388Kbps on a torrent. BUT the connection has been a bit flaky. I have an unsettling suspicion that either the wiring in my house or on the WAN side has to much attenuation…

    All said, these could just be teething problems. Unfortunately I’ve already been informed that my area doesn’t support the 8mb option 🙁

  18. Mena and Zain will definitely respond.
    I think STC will start by utilizing their upcoming GSM infrastructure, I’m expecting them to strike with an aggressive 3.5G internet bundle.
    The only issue is threshold, I just wanna know if it’s mandated by the TRA.

    Bottom line, if you’re with any ISP, don’t switch now to a new contract, the price war will need some time to settle.

  19. mahmood says:

    Aha!

    This is what I got a few seconds ago:

    and lookee here:

    Off to the other Magic Kingdom, back PM. See you then!

  20. Bahrain Internet Society launced http://internetbh.wordpress.com/ to take your opinion on Internet Service in Bahrain. Please help.

  21. Adel says:

    I have 20mb “unlimited” and i pay 35 GBP a month…..soon will come back to bahrain 🙁 and have to cope with one of these crappy companies…I have been away since 4 years so any suggestions which company is the least crappiest :)??!

  22. mahmood says:

    Adel if the contracts were reasonable and don’t lock people in for 12 to 18 months, I would say go with anyone. But as these contracts are locked, I’d say that the freeest of the lot is Batelco even though I hate to admit it. Yes they would penalise you with connection/disconnection charges, but at least they would let you go easily.

  23. MohJ says:

    It says in batelco e-services that I was upgraded from 512 to 1mb connection. But my downloads still cap at 45-50KB/s. Anyone has any idea what’s wrong here?

  24. MohJ says:

    Hello,

    Just reporting back to say that my problem was fixed after I’ve sent an email to Batelco. It got resolved in less than 6 hours, which actually surprised me hahahahaha.

    More on topic: I hope the prices get reduced for the packages. My old man is not ready to pay more than 25BD a month for inet, so I guess I’ll be sticking with an 1mb line for quite a while. O well…..

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